Posts Tagged ‘druids’
When the weather has been dry for several days in England then it would be rude not to go out into the world and see if you can feel the forces of Nature at work. Not wanting to be rude Kal and I gave a large part of our eating and drinking time over to a journey to our favourite magical woodland – Alderley Edge. It was the first visit of the year, and although it was definitely not Spring-like weather yet, at least it was dry and had been for days, which meant that we could walk around without fear of falling foul of a foot of mud and slutch.
As if our wont, we had to have a question to be working with in order to make the experience bring true reward (yes, wandering around aimlessly can be its own random reward, but if you want to make steady and sure spiritual progress then you need a mission, a plan, a guided meditation). For my part, I had questions about my recent work with The Sword and The Shield. I had managed to absorb some energy into my shield stone and this was very satisfactory. Now, I wanted to know about the Sword aspect. What was it, and how could I go about obtaining it so that I could fulfil my healing potential using these two magickal symbols and their associated energies.
My research into the figure of Galahad had shown that he had encounters involving a sword and a shield. For Galahad they were to be found like this:-
- The Sword of Spirit - a sword drawn from a rock
- The Shield of Faith - a shield found at the altar of a white abbey
Well, that was all to plan so far. I had found a white abbey (Valle Crucis), its ancient altar location, and had transferred the energy of the “shield” into my shield-like stone, and was now able to use that to quickly protect and retain energies for sacred sites. My thoughts thus turned to The Sword. Drawn from a rock? Really? Like Arthur’s sword, Galahad also had to draw a sword from a rock?
Who owns the sword?
Last year I had been doing some research into Gawain. During that year I had some experiences, particularly on Iona, the led me to believe that the Sword is identified with the Will. This is especially true in magickal work. However, was the sword that I would work with this year related to Galahad, Arthur or Gawain? It was a confusing picture! Did it matter? Could the dowsing rods sort it out for me? Or maybe a tarot draw?
The dowsing rods were able to help me divine the answer. It is Galahad’s Sword that I am to find and work with.
“Sir Galahad survives this test [being sat in the Seige Perilous seat], witnessed by King Arthur who, upon realizing the greatness of this new knight, leads him out to the river where a sword lies in a stone with an inscription reading “Never shall man take me hence but only he by whose side I ought to hang; and he shall be the best knight of the world… Galahad accomplishes this test with ease, and King Arthur swiftly proclaims him to be the greatest knight ever. ” (Source: Wikipedia)
Now, on to the Alderley Edge tale, where I find out more answers than I bargained for!
Finally I have got around to writing up my Samhain experiences. It’s only the back end of November, and this occurred at the beginning of October! One aspect of this year’s work has been the incredible amount of material we have had to deal with. Only a fraction of it appears on this blog. This year we will end up with 200 draft posts that didn’t get finished. But now – back to the tale at hand.
Yew Know What To Do
We start, as usual, at the Llangernyw Yew tree. 4000 years of dendrochronology pulsing through its dark boughs. On the way to the village of Llangernyw (yew) I was heading towards a rainbow which coincidentally seemed to land on the village as I approached. Coincidence, of course, because this light phenomenon is linked to one’s position relative to the light refraction.
The churchyard was quiet. This gave me the space to follow my intuition. I walked down to the graveyard and sat on the wooden bench where I had once met a shade. There was nothing there now, but I felt I needed to be here first before moving back up to the tree. Perhaps I needed to be grounded before approaching the tree, or energetically harmonised? Soon I was back at the top of the churchyard standing on the edges of the yew tree’s canopy. I asked for entry…waited…and it was granted.
For some reason I had brought some new crystals with me. I felt I should place them along one of the yew’s branches. In the early morning sunlight they glowed with their respective colours and I left them to do whatever it was they were doing. Sometimes such acts have no intention on my part. This is where trust comes into the equation. I felt around for the best place to sit and found that it was not in my usual place. As I settled in I noticed that I was sitting in the place where I got a particularly sparkly view of the sunlight through the branches. That was lucky, eh? I began to drift off…therefore before I went completely I asked the yew tree to help me discover my quest for the next part of the year… and then my mind went blank as the sunlight danced in my eyes and the spark of wonder that drives my spiritual path began to surface.
For the recent Autumn Equinox this Hedge Druid went back to a place of druidic significance - Ynys Môn, or the Island of Anglesey. There were several favourite sites that I wanted to visit, and given that I was seeking the solitude and sanctuary of enclosed sacred spaces I could think of no better examples of this form of megalithic sites than the wonderful chambers on that far western isle. With me on this journey I had my friend Mike who would be able to offer his psychic impressions of the sites – another perspective on the places that Kal and I had visited and dowsed so often.
Our first destination was Lligwy Chamber which is to be found at the edge of the collection of sites just west of the town of Moelfre that comprise an ancient church, hut circle settlement and the chamber itself. We arrived in the late morning sunshine and the site seemed to be sparkling and playing with the available light. The capstone shone with a radiant limestone glare as we studied its flat form from the source of the energies that surround it, namely the two small outlier stones just outside of the main iron fence.
As is usual I didn’t tell Mike anything about the place or what Kal and I had found here on previous occasions, but very quickly Mike picked up that the stones we were standing at had strong energies connected to the main site. Maybe not too difficult to work out, but as he walked their path I confirmed with the dowsing rods that he was walking the line of subtle energy that connected the stones to a circuit that surrounded the main site.
Mike’s next statement was another familiar one – there are some pools of strong energy at each of the corners, he said. I confirmed that there were four spirals to be found at the corners. We stopped analysing the site now, and began to talk about how it might be used. I told Mike about how Kal and I had worked out that walking around the site generated a meditative energy that could be used by the person inside the chamber to travel in spirit. We both went into the chamber whilst the other person walked around the exterior in a sun-wise direction, and we both reported having a “sinking” feeling of being drawn into the floor of the chamber as a result. Perhaps walking in the other direction might send your spirit off into the atmosphere? Something to be tested at a subsequent visit perhaps?
Both of us emerged from the experience completely “spaced out” after only lying in there for a few minutes. I could imagine that if the process was done by more people walking around and humming or singing and it was done for longer then the person inside could be drawn so deeply out of themselves that they would achieve a sort of “spirit flight” that is discussed by so many scholars of a shaman’s techniques.
I rarely use Tarot Cards. That’s mainly because they are so damned spookily accurate! They make me nervous. There was a spell when Kal was using the cards regularly, for himself and for others, and he found the same. He told me how it was useful for obtaining the kind of information about a situation that couldn’t be obtained (or would take a very long time to narrow down) with dowsing. So, I gave it a go. I learned a single layout, and then I used a couple of reference books to interpret the cards. One word – accurate. Those of you who may have tried this will know what I mean. This is not your “Sun Sign Astrology” tabloid newspaper kind of accurate. This is the “are you reading my mind?” type of accurate.
Of course Tarot cards are symbols, symbols of some human psychology, and there are levels of interpretation required to make something meaningful come out of a reading. Yet, whenever I have done it, and I can count the number of times still on one hand, I have been flabbergasted, nay overwhelmed by the pertinence, the serendipity, the degree of coincidence, however you want to term it. It was spot on. Whether for me, or for someone else. I have been told that I “have the gift” with the cards. Well, so did Solitaire (Jane Seymour) in the James Bond film “Live and Let Die” and look what happened to her! (Actually, what did happen to her, I can’t remember….?)
Why Druids should use Tarot
Good question. Sounds like a statement but it’s also a question – why should druids use Tarot, or any method of divination? Well, the druid revivalist culture seems to purport that there is some historical precedence for a link between forms of augury or divination and the druid class. The Romans (and where would we be without the Romans, with their aqueducts, laws, sewage systems….etc) included instances in their reports of Britain about the scrying and divining abilities of the druids.
Don’t let history (even if it was dubious political history) be your only guide, however. There are other sound reasons to adopt a form of divination. Is dowsing not a form of scrying, of obtaining knowledge from a gnostic source, that can easily be turned towards divination tasks too? Indeed it can. The humble dowsing rod can be used for many purposes, but the further away from dowsing in connection with the land the less credible the results feel to me. This may be a personal thing, however, because I admit to having used dowsing for divination, even if the results have always seemed less reliable and more likely to change. But then, that’s the future for you – always changing!
There have been many wild and fantastic suggestions and theories about the coming of the group known enigmatically as The Shining Ones. Some “theorists” have said that they were so called because they gave off an unearthly light, or that they were extra-terrestrial visitors who came down to give knowledge to the human race to move them out of savagery and into civilisation, and that they established the concept of kingship because the savages they encountered viewed them as gods from another world. Maybe this was actually what the people believed, but we can never know this from archaeology or any written source. Instead, their influence is only fleetingly spoken of, and the last remaining scant written evidence is from the Irish myths of the Tuatha De Danaan.
This group of people are known by many names: The Shining Ones, The Tuatha De Danaan, The Annunaki, The Great White Brotherhood, or The Ascended Masters. Of course, each of those who is a devotee of these subjects will argue that they are subtly different, but the idea of ancient hidden knowledge being carried through to our own time is the essence of each of those designated groups, irrespective of their supposed sources or incarnations.
My quest has been to get back beyond the time of the Druids to the source of the megalithic structures, or certainly the inspiration for their design. To do this the only tool I have available is dowsing – no amount of scholarly research is going to reveal anything that isn’t utterly without a duality of meaning and a massive degree of interpretation. Besides – we simply do not have any written knowledge from those times, and I am talking about before 3000 B.C.E.
I am interested in understanding stone circles and other megalithic structures – how they work who made them, why they were made, and for what purposes they were built. The only method I have available is a blend of gnosis, intuition, and the application of rationality after a collection of knowledge has been obtained.
It may strike you as a completely illegitimate and unreliable means to recreate this lost knowledge, but the tool of dowsing is capable of allowing us to tune into the flow of the universal consciousness and retrieve knowledge. Using these tools I have re-constructed the following pieces of knowledge concerning this shadowy group known to us as The Shining Ones. Take from it what you wish – discard anything you do not trust, or cannot verify for yourself. Dismiss anything you don’t instinctively apprehend as having a high probability of being true. How can you tell? You can’t – it’s all guesswork, but over the years I have developed a sense of trust in my dowsing responses, and that’s all I can offer in terms of validation.
After having established a degree of trust in my dowsing work with whatever the source of this knowledge might be, I felt it was time to try to work out who the Shining Ones might be, or at least to try to get some pointers on their influence in the process of megalith building. So Kal and I visited the Nine Stones Close circle, as it seemed to have the right kind of character to acquire knowledge from.
Here is what I found out after having “unlocked” the power centres at Nine Stones Close stone circle, and then dowsed about the Shining Ones:
- Shining Ones were human, they lived before Druids, and there are none around today
- Although they discovered the way to harness the properties of the earth, they did so not for its worship, but for the benefits they could extract from doing so. They supplied the knowledge of how to build the megalithic structures – the template, the basic mathematics, the sacred geometry, the planetary alignments – but they used the cover story of worship in order to motivate the populous to help them to build these structures.
- They installed the concept of kingship in human society
- The Druid Orders, then The Knights Templar, and finally the Freemasons were the inheritors and protectors of their secrets. This is against Nature, as no knowledge should be denied to those who may comprehend it. Those who cannot understand will be shielded from it, if not its consequence.
- Our paths are not their paths, although there may be many crossing points. We can learn their lore, but we should not follow their teachings.
- The Shining Ones understood the workings of Nature.
- These people were influential from the period of 5500 bce up until 150 bce. The Druids came after them and inherited much of their knowledge and status.
- They were not in any way connected with extra-terrestrial beings- they were learned human beings who received their knowledge from Nature through processes of Gnosis and meditation and the use of their megalithic structures to induce connectivity and trance.
The Matthews categorise any being within the Otherworld as being “Shining Ones”. Does that take the shine off their special status? Not if we examine the myths surrounding the appearance of this group of people – in these myths their status is exemplary: they are the bringers of truth, wisdom, knowledge, law, and skills. All of these are brought to the uncivilised groups living in the northern hemisphere spanning from Ireland across the Celtic landscape and into the Indes.
That is about it for the information we have about them. As one might expect from a time when written records were minimal, and considering all of the great literary losses our race has endured over the centuries (e.g. The Library of Alexandria), coupled with the sense that the written medium was only beginning to be introduced when this supposed race of people appeared, then we are unlikely to be able to verify any of this with factual material. What we are left with is more questions than answers. I only hope that through my dowsing work I can at least begin to scratch the surface of the intentions and origins of these historically and mythologically important people.
References to Shining Ones:
Excerpts from The Book of Leinster about the Tuatha De Danaan
- “The Shining Ones” – by Christian and Barbara Joy O’Brien [buy]
- “The Ancient and Shining Ones” – by Deanna J. Conway [buy]
- “The Shining Ones: The World’s Most Powerful Secret Society” – by Philip Gardiner [buy or view in Google Books]
- Learning from History – Part 1 [link]
- A typically vague description provide here.
One thing that has always seemed incidental to my research into stone circles and other megalithic sites has been the discrepancy between dowsing responses and the official reports on the purpose of such sites. These official histories can be found placed outside the sites by helpful country councils eager to attract tourists to any old thing they can offer on a rainy English summer day that might seem cultural or educational.
Every one of these signs, without exception, is adamant that, because a tweed-attired chap with a trowel and monocle dug up a small pile of cremated bones from the centre of the site in 1921 that this is categorical evidence that sites from then on should be designated for “burial” purposes. Don’t get me wrong – valuable archaeological work has been done at ancient sites, and I do not dispute the accuracy of the work done, or the professionalism brought to bear on the excavation in modern times. However, I believe that in respect of human remains and funerary practises the evidential tale takes a major leap into “faction” – a curious meld of fact and fiction that then becomes a widely-publicised and accepted “truth”.
Here is a list of unscientific things that I find contradict this widely-held scientific hypothesis:-
- Every time we dowse a site where bones have been found to see whether it primarily served the purpose of a burial site – the clear and unequivocal answer has been “No”. We have to say ‘primarily’ because of course bones have been buried there, so if we asked the questions differently we might get a misleading answer.
- Why would you bury people in a stone circle that was clearly intended for astronomical use? This was the calendar of the ancient peoples, and the movement of posts to track the heavens would have required regular visits. Clearly, stone circles in particular served a calendrical purpose above that of being a cemetery.
- Cromlechs and “passage graves” are always labelled “burial chambers”, yet many cromlechs have interior spaces that are too small to hold a human skeleton. Yes, many remains have been cremated, but even so the “real estate” is quite limited. Passage graves are aligned with astronomical bodies, not dead bodies, and their passages stream with light on specific important dates. Their chambers also resonate sound superbly, and the mounds above the passage are structured like Wilhelm Reich’s Orgone Accumulator – layers of different materials that retain and transform nature’s energies. A sophisticated structure for a grave, with may superfluous features, wouldn’t you say?
- If the site was for burial, why would you bury a small number of people there? The stock answer is that it was the site of the burial of heroic people – druids, famous warriors, chieftains. So, why do you only get a select number of skeletons there, and not lots layered on top of each other, as successive generations marked great people? This would indicate that the structure served a one-off purpose of the burial of specific people, possibly for a specific purpose. The argues against the idea of the function of such sites being primarily for burial.
- Many of the funereal urns containing the charred remains dug up from stone circles are dated to around the latter end of the Bronze Age (3200-1200BCE), yet stone circles have themselves been dated from thousands of years before that. It seems that the burials were later additions to the ceremonial aspects of these sites.
If your old religion and civilisation was being systematically destroyed by invaders, as the last in the line of the Circle Builders, where would you wish to be buried? An ancient site. Was it a final act of dedication, a magical attempt to preserve the energies of the sites through their sacrifice and burial at astronomical positions? Or were they places where communication with and inspiration from the ancestors could be obtained at specific times of the year when the veil between worlds was thinner?
So, my theory is that the ancient sites were indeed used for burying some people, but that this was not the primary purpose of such sites. I do not see any evidence at all that the design, the layout, the siting, and the structure of the ancient sites have anything at all to do with burial as an inherent and continuous part of their purpose.
As Aubrey Burl puts it:-
The most likely explanation for these bizarre collections of bones, some of them lacking skulls and far too few to represent even a minute fraction of the population, is that they were the remains of an ancestor cult in which the living ritually used skulls and longbones, believing that the ghosts of the dead would protect them just as dedicatory burial would add potency to a ceremonial monument. In the new stone age death and the dead obsessed the living. But, needing to control these powerful and dangerous spirits, the people confined the bones inside ‘magic’ rings of earth or stone.
I have a slightly different perspective on that which includes aspects of “death energy” being ritualistically interred into the sacred site in an attempt to bring stability to a community (a rallying point), fertility to the land, and perhaps to retain the presence of that person’s spirit by “fixing” their presence into the energy formation at such crossing points on the earth energy grid.